EPT Snowfest: Final table player profiles

ept-thumb-promo.jpgThe final table for EPT Snowfest is set.

The eight players below will compete for the €445,000 first prize at the Alpine Palace, in Salbach-Hinterglemm. You can watch the action live on EPT Live and follow it on PokerStars Blog.

The full list of winners so far is on the prizewinners page

Final table line up:

Seat one - 3,463,000 chips
Russell Carson, 27, Powell River, BC, Canada - PokerStars qualifier


Carson may not be a familiar face to EPT followers, but he is a formidable online player known by his moniker "rdcrsn". Carson has been a professional poker player ever since he finished his studies, and his biggest cash was for $150,000 in an online tournament. He is an avid sport fan, particularly soccer.

Seat two - 919,000 chips
Alain Medesan, 33, Baia Mare, Romania


Medesan has been a fulltime poker professional since December 2006. "I decided then that I would play for everything," he said. "I would play with all my heart." His rail of supporters at Snowfest include seven friends who helped stake him into the event, which Medesan admits would have been too expensive otherwise. Their investment has already reaped dividends as Medesan now has the chance to become the EPT's first Romanian champion and to improve on his friend Mihai Manole's fourth place in Barcelona. Medesan's biggest live result before EPT Snowfest was €17,025 for a second place finish in a €700 tournament in Slovenia, but he's no slouch online where his biggest score has been a $85,000 third place finish in a $100 rebuy event.

Seat three - 972,000 chips
Jonathan Schroer, 46, North Carolina, USA, FPP qualifier


Schroer won his seat to EPT Snowfest in a Frequent Player Points satellite on PokerStars, which means his first ever trip to Europe has cost him nothing. Schroer is one of the few amateurs in the Snowfest final; by day he is the head of a Montessori School in North Carolina. He is also an international master at chess and is a poker veteran having been playing online for nearly ten years. He normally plays limit cash games, and also satellite tournaments.

Seat four - 2,034,000 chips
Johannes Strassmann, 25, Berlin, Germany, Team PokerStars Pro


Originally from Bonn and now living in Berlin, Strassmann is a poker professional who, like ElkY, switched from the strategy game Starcraft, opening an online account with a $5 deposit. Strassmann now has one of the best EPT records, currently lying sixth in the Tournament Leader Board. He has eight EPT cashes (including two finals) and has also bubbled two final tables. His best result was €152,000 for sixth place in Dortmund two years ago; his most recent was 23rd place in Berlin two weeks ago. Overall he has made more than $750,000 at EPT events.

Seat five - 728,000 chips
Lukas Baumann, 24, Austria, FPP qualifier


Baumann comes from Leoben, three hours' drive away from Hinterglemm, and is the last remaining Austrian in the tournament. He is currently about half way through a materials engineering course at university. Like Schroer, Baumann won his seat in a FPP tournament on PokerStars so his seat at EPT Snowfest has cost him nothing. He is thrilled and amazed to have made the final table, surrounded by pros, and merrily puts it all down to luck. However he does have results - he came fourth in a $50,000 guaranteed tourney on PokerStars for $4,000 and is also the current official Styrian University poker champion, a title he's held since December.

Seat six - 3,096,000 chips
Brent Wheeler, 24, Chicago, USA


Wheeler is a fulltime poker professional who mainly plays online. He says the only job he has ever had other than playing poker was being a golf caddy. Wheeler says his "favourite" live result was coming fourth for €57,000 in the PokerStars Italian Poker Tour event in San Remo last month but he also came 86th at EPT Berlin two weeks ago for €12,000 and had a deep run at the PCA in January, coming 39th for $35,000.

Seat seven - 4,688,000 chips
Allan "Sifosis" Baekke, 27, Denmark


Baekke is a PokerStars SuperNova, who has made his name playing the biggest buy-in heads-up sit and gos. He competes in the major Sunday tournaments as well but his biggest hit to date was second place in the $25,000 PokerStars WCOOP high roller heads-up event last September. He has been chasing an EPT title for quite a while, having competed in 15 events. He has cashed twice - 48th place in Budapest last season and 28th in Copenhagen on season four. However in Berlin two weeks ago, Baekke came second in the €2,000 side event - his best live result before reaching this Snowfest final table. For last season's Copenhagen event, Baekke joined forces with PokerStars to write strategy tips for the leading newspaper Ekstrabladet on how to win EPT seats via steps satellites. He is being supported in Hinterglemm by his girlfriend Kirstine.

Seat eight - 396,000 chips
Daniel Van Kalkeren, 25, Hengelo, Holland


Van Kalkeren has been a fulltime professional poker player for two years but is here in Austria playing his first ever EPT event. He took up poker while studying IT and communications at university. He plays online - usually no limit hold 'em short-handed cash games at $2-$4 and $3-$6 stakes. His best live result was reaching the final of a tournament in Budapest last year where he cashed for more than €18,000. Daniel is being supported from home by his girlfriend of eight years - as well as his new dog Tommy.


When there were nine

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour